Al-Nawawi on fasting and charity in Ramadan

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Al-Nawawi records in his book Riyad al-Salihin:

Allah Almighty said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ أَيَّامًا مَّعْدُودَاتٍ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

O you who have faith, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. It is for a limited number of days, so whoever among you is ill or on a journey, then an equal number of days to be made up. Upon those who are in hardship, a substitute of feeding a poor person. Whoever volunteers more, it is better for him, but to fast is best for you if you only knew. The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was revealed, guidance for people and clear proofs of guidance and distinction. Whoever sights the month, let him fast it. Whoever is ill or on a journey, then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship, and he intends for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that to which he has guided you, that perhaps you will be grateful.

Surat al-Baqarah 2:183-185

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

قَالَ اللَّهُ كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ لَهُ إِلاَّ الصِّيَامَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ‏ وَالصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ وَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ صَوْمِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَصْخَبْ فَإِنْ سَابَّهُ أَحَدٌ أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي امْرُؤٌ صَائِمٌ وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ لَخُلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ الْمِسْكِ لِلصَّائِمِ فَرْحَتَانِ يَفْرَحُهُمَا إِذَا أَفْطَرَ فَرِحَ وَإِذَا لَقِيَ رَبَّهُ فَرِحَ بِصَوْمِهِ

Allah Almighty said, ‘Every deed of the son of Adam is for him, except for fasting. It is for Me and I will reward it.’ Fasting is a shield, so when one of you fasts, he may not be obscene or boisterous. If someone insults him or fights him, let him say: Indeed, I am fasting. By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the breath coming from the mouth of a fasting person is more pleasant to Allah than the scent of musk. The fasting person has two moments of relief he enjoys: when he breaks his fast he is joyful, and when he meets his Lord he is joyful for his fasting.

In another narration, the Prophet said:

‏قال اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَتْرُكُ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ وَشَهْوَتَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي الصِّيَامُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ وَالْحَسَنَةُ بِعَشْرِ أَمْثَالِهَا

Allah Almighty said, ‘He abandons his food, drink, and desires for My sake. Fasting is for Me and I will reward it, a single good deed up to ten times the like of it.

And in another narration, the Prophet said:

كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ يُضَاعَفُ الْحَسَنَةُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا إِلَى سَبْعِمِائَةِ ضِعْفٍ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلاَّ الصَّوْمَ فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ يَدَعُ شَهْوَتَهُ وَطَعَامَهُ مِنْ أَجْلِي

Every deed of the son of Adam is multiplied, a single deed as ten times the like of it up to seven hundred times. Allah Almighty said, ‘Except for fasting, as it is for Me and I will reward it. He leaves his desires and his food for My sake.’

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1795, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ أَنْفَقَ زَوْجَيْنِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ نُودِيَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ هَذَا خَيْرٌ فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الصَّلَاةِ دُعِيَ مِنْ بَابِ الصَّلَاةِ وَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجِهَادِ دُعِيَ مِنْ بَابِ الْجِهَادِ وَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الصِّيَامِ دُعِيَ مِنْ بَابِ الرَّيَّانِ وَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الصَّدَقَةِ دُعِيَ مِنْ بَابِ الصَّدَقَةِ

Anyone who spends a pair in the way of Allah will be called from all the gates of Paradise: O servant of Allah, this is good! The people of prayer will be called from the gate of prayer, the people of jihad will be called from the gate of jihad, the people of fasting will be called from the gate of al-Rayyan, and the people of charity will be called from the gate of charity.

Abu Bakr said, “One who is called from all those gates would need nothing. Will anyone be called from all those gates, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet said:

نَعَمْ وَأَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنْهُمْ

Yes, and I hope you will be among them, O Abu Bakr.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3466, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Sahl ibn Sa’d reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ بَابًا يُقَالُ لَهُ الرَّيَّانُ يَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ الصَّائِمُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا يَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ أَحَدٌ غَيْرُهُمْ يُقَالُ أَيْنَ الصَّائِمُونَ فَيَقُومُونَ لَا يَدْخُلُ مِنْهُ أَحَدٌ غَيْرُهُمْ فَإِذَا دَخَلُوا أُغْلِقَ فَلَمْ يَدْخُلْ مِنْهُ أَحَدٌ

Verily, there is a gate in Paradise called al-Rayyan, through which only those who fasted will enter on the Day of Resurrection. No one else will enter it along with them. It will be said: Where are those who fasted that they may enter? When the last of them enter, it will be closed and no one else will go through it.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1797, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ صَامَ يَوْمًا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ بَعَّدَ اللَّهُ وَجْهَهُ عَنْ النَّارِ سَبْعِينَ خَرِيفًا

Whoever fasts a day in the way of Allah, Allah will move his face away from the Hellfire by a distance of seventy years.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 2685, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ وَمَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. Whoever stands in prayer during the Night of Decree due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1802, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In another narration, the Prophet said:

مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

Whoever stands in prayer during Ramadan due to faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1905, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

‏إِذَا دَخَلَ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ، وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِين‏

When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1800, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Ibn Umar reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا تَصُومُوا حَتَّى تَرَوْا الْهِلَالَ وَلَا تُفْطِرُوا حَتَّى تَرَوْهُ فَإِنْ أُغْمِيَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاقْدِرُوا لَهُ

Do not fast the month of Ramadan until you see the crescent moon, and do not break your fast until you see it. If the sky is cloudy for you, then estimate it.

In another narration, the Prophet said:

فَإِنْ غُمَّ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ ثَلَاثِينَ

If the sky is cloudy for you, then complete the term as thirty days.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1807, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ القُرْآنَ فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدُ بِالخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ المُرْسَلَةِ

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was the most generous of people and he was even more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel would meet him. He would meet him every night of Ramadan to study the Quran. Thus, the Prophet would be more generous than a nourishing wind.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1803, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا دَخَلَ الْعَشْرُ شَدَّ مِئْزَرَهُ وَأَحْيَا لَيْلَهُ وَأَيْقَظَ أَهْلَهُ

When the last ten days of Ramadan arrived, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, would tighten his belt, spend the night in worship, and awaken his family.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 1920, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In another narration, Aisha said:

يَجْتَهِدُ فِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ مَا لَا يَجْتَهِدُ فِي غَيْرِهِ

The Prophet would would exert himself in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan more so than any other time.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1175, Grade: Sahih

Al-Nawawi writes:

قَالَ أَصْحَابُنَا وَالْجُودُ وَالْأَفْضَالُ مُسْتَحَبٌّ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ وَفِي الْعَشْرِ الْأَوَاخِرِ أَفْضَلُ اقْتِدَاءً بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَبِالسَّلَفِ وَلِأَنَّهُ شَهْرٌ شَرِيفٌ فَالْحَسَنَةُ فِيهِ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ غَيْرِهِ

Our scholars said that being generous and performing favors are highly recommended during Ramadan, specifically during the last ten nights. By doing so, we emulate the example of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, as well as our predecessors. This month is honored and good deeds performed in this month are more blessed than they are at any other time.

Source: al-Majmū’ Sharḥ al-Muhadhdhab 6/424

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.